Hey, y’all! I’m Shelby, Sara’s right-hand woman for all things social media. Eight months ago, we began a social media marketing journey to better connect with Sara’s audience and grow her community, and we’ve learned so many lessons along the way. I’m here to share some of those lessons and my personal favorite tips for photographers and creatives looking to revolutionize their social media strategy. Keep reading for our top tips for optimizing your IG!
Know Your "Why"
Before building out your social media plan, know what your purpose is on social media. What business goals are dependent on your social media success? Are you looking to fill your books with more clients? Do you want to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry? Maybe you are just hoping to connect with your community and grow your audience organically by sharing your work! No answer is wrong – but knowing your intention will make planning content and identifying content pillars much easier. (More on content pillars later!)
Social media can be very draining without a vision, which is why it can make small business owners feel overwhelmed. Once you have an idea of how you want your following to interact with you and how you want your profile to serve your business, the motivation will boom! Think about businesses and personalities on social media that you personally enjoy interacting with and get excited when they post. Ask yourself: What is it about their content that stands out and draws you in continually? Poll your audience to ask them why they follow you and what about your content excites them. Take notes, save posts, and dive into your content deeper than the surface to better understand your opportunities. Remember, your business’s greatest advantage is that it is completely unique to you! So, take inspiration, but always make sure the final result is authentic to you and your brand.
Plan Smarter, Not Harder
The cardinal rule of social media strategy is consistency. You have to play the long game if you want to see success on your social channels, which means being intentional and consistent with your content and engagement. If you struggle with social media burnout and find it hard to post and engage with your feed every day, there are solutions!
- Stockpile your content. Take an hour or two of your admin day, decide on a Sunday-Saturday post schedule that you can easily achieve week over week, and schedule out content you want to post over the next 2-4 weeks. If your content is scheduled to post on a consistent timetable without the effort of pulling content last-minute, then you can solely focus on the fun of interacting with your audience and feed in real-time. Use Planoly as a free service to ensure your audience is always being tapped on a regular schedule! (Bonus: It includes a hashtag discovery resource and optimal post time data!)
- Identify your content pillars. Caption writing can be made easier by establishing content pillars. Pillars can be thought of as the foundations of your business profile; they are the primary topics that your content revolves around and can be continually broken down into subtopics. Assign a different pillar to each post day of the week, and build your content from that prompt! (Ex. Monday: Education, Wednesday: Portrait photography, etc.)
- Plan to be active around your post time. To boost your post’s reach, plan to be active on your feed and target hashtags for at least 15 minutes before posting and 15 minutes after. Always remember to interact with comments on your post as soon as possible! For extra reach, post on your story an hour before your post with an engageable button (poll, question box, emoji slide). If you regularly post content without engaging on your feed, try these tips for a week and watch the noticeable improvement on your reach and engagement!
Avoid Cheap Tricks
This is as simple as it sounds! Instead of using quick fixes, like the follow then unfollow tactic, optimize your hashtags, comment and like on hashtag feeds, and grow your audience organically for a more promising return. Instead of staying in a lazy posting routine... Use. What’s. New! Stay up to date with new app features and waste no time before building them into your content strategy. Dancing TikTok trends aren’t your thing? (They’re not Sara’s either.) Don’t let that scare you away! Visit your favorite creators’ profiles and study how they are making it work for them and their industry. Find trends applicable to your content pillars, poll your audience with what they want to see, and get creative with it! Yes, it takes more effort and time to play the game the big apps want, but the rewards are much higher.
I hope I helped you learn something new about how social media can elevate your brand and community! Visit @saracoffinphoto on Instagram to connect with us and let us know if you want more blogs on all things photography, client experience, and social media!